All marketing has an objective. It might be to build brand awareness, increase trust, show expertise or thought leadership, build a community, build authority or straight up convert people to buy something. Social media marketing is no different – it’s there to support a business objective.
But all too often, businesses get caught up in the day-to-day, and lose track of creating content that supports those key business objectives. I’ve seen businesses that sell products never post a link to their shop, even though that’s their goal. I’ve seen businesses that never share testimonials or case studies, even though building trust is their objective. It’s not uncommon at all for businesses to post social media content that has nothing to do with their business or marketing objectives for that year.
This is why it’s critical that all businesses have a social media strategy, so that the content a business creates supports their marketing objectives.
However, one of the trends I’ve noticed is that a lot of businesses simply don’t know what social media posts which support marketing objectives look like.
The “viral” and “shiny object” posts get a lot of attention – but quality, bread-and-butter posts which build trust with your audience, build community, and support sales are all-too-often kept under the radar.
Today, I’m going to shine a spotlight on these humble posts that build the solid foundation of well-run social media marketing approaches. Once this groundwork is done, it gives room for those creative campaigns which are fun and shiny.
I’ve collated over 80 posts from across the internet, to show you just how different goals can be achieved using social media content. If you’ve ever wondered what social media content looks like that is designed to build trust, or thought leadership, show expertise, or entice people to buy, then this post is for you.
Here we go!
Trust and Thought Leadership
Before we buy from a business, we need to trust them. Whether it’s trusting that they are a business that is legitimate or trust that the product is quality, we need to believe they are someone we want to do business with. So we need to trust them. A really simple way that social media content can be designed to create trust is by showing expertise in your industry.
I’ve selected a variety of industries, small businesses, global businesses, brick-and-mortar businesses and online businesses – so you can see how others approach this.
Sales and Conversion
The “hard sell” isn’t really something that is used on social media, because often, we use “relationship marketing” to help people get to know, like and trust us. But, every now and again, we need to directly ask for the sale. We’re in business, right? But it doesn’t need to be heavy-handed.
Here are a few great posts which either directly ask for a sale, or lure people down the path of conversion, such as signing up to a newsletter, webinar or visit a site so they can be tagged for remarketing.
Testimonials and happy customers
One of the most effective ways to convince people to buy from you is a quality testimonial or case study. But these don’t need to be dry, either. These can be told in a variety of formats and styles, depending on your business type.
Keep an eye out for the posts below that show their happy clients experiencing their product or service, rather than a big old quote and smiling face. Both are great, but using a variety of approaches gives you new ways to show that your business rocks and your audience isn’t just seeing the same thing over and over!
Building relationships, connecting and sharing culture
We are in the age of “relationship marketing”, where creating an emotional connection is how we sell. Building a connection, creating a shared culture, and having shared values is all part of the mix. This content is not just any “Friday Funny” — it should be content that reflects brand values, beliefs, common ground with their customers, in order to create that connection. And, of course, some of it might be designed to get a sneaky Like or a laugh out of it.
This content isn’t selling anything, asking anyone to click to your site. It’s standalone content, designed to help build a connection based on shared values, so help the audience “know, like and trust” you.
Inspiration, product stories and dreams
It’s easier to imagine ourselves doing something if we’ve got a role model. Inspiration helps us connect, dream and get motivated. This is a useful tactic on a few fronts for social media marketers: it’s helpful in terms of people working their way down the sales funnel so they can see how the product or service works, but often it also ticks the boxes in terms of building relationships and culture.
Here are a few examples I’ve spotted across the internet of my favourite pieces of content which aim to inspire their audience.
Every social media post should have a purpose that supports your primary marketing objective (and your social media strategy should give you guidance on how to approach this). Our content becomes a tapestry, which woven together to tells a non-linear story about our business, so that when our customers “like, know and trust us”.
Each piece of content should be working towards your primary goals. It might be to build trust, show expertise, entice people down the sales funnel – to covert or buy. Or, you might have an entirely different goal, but your social content should still aim to work towards this goal.
What are your favourite examples of businesses which do a brilliant job of turning their marketing goals into stellar social media content? Let me know in the comments!
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About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.